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Peach Pecan Crumble

Peach Pecan Crumble

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Every summer my Mum says the same thing: "This year is going to be the last year the peach tree has peaches!" And so far, thankfully, she's been wrong. Our one & only peach tree has been in the backyard ever since my Mum bought the house in the early nineties. And its been pumping out the juiciest, most succulent peaches ever since. Every year, without fail. (Touch wood!!) I better not be jinxing myself here. They really are the best peaches I've ever had, and I love coming home in Summer & getting to eat scores of peaches. 

Growing up, my Mum used to make apple crumble and we would always eat it with a healthy dose of freshly whipped cream. It was the best! Since we're in peach season here, I figured I'd make peaches the star of the crumble this time around. It's even quicker to prepare than apple crumble, as unlike the apples, you don't need to remove the skins of the peaches first. I mean, it's a personal preference, but I really don't find it's necessary. And since the yellow peaches I use are already sweet on their own, this recipe doesn't need a lot of sugar. 

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When making a crumble, I love the process of rubbing in the butter with my hands. Some like to use a food processor, but I like the control I have by doing it with my hands; it won't get overworked. To get a lovely crispy top, it's important to let the crumble topping settle as it chooses, and not press it down (fight the urge!). I really prefer my crumble with the addition of nuts. The pecans in this recipe really add a delicious something extra, in both flavor and crunch.

Make your summer table complete with this simple & juicy peach crumble!  

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Peach Pecan Crumble

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

For the crumble:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled butter (115g), cut into small cubes
1/2 cup chopped pecans 

For the filling:
6 medium ripe, but firm peaches, pitted & sliced (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg

To serve: fresh whipped cream or ice cream

Method:

  1. Prepare the crumble topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Lightly grease a 9 inch baking dish (circle or square). Set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon & salt. Rub together with your hands to break up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the cubes of butter and pinch it with your fingertips, incorporating it into the flour mixture. Stir in the pecans. Place crumble topping in the refrigerator while you prepare the peaches. 
  3. Prepare the fruit filling: Combine peaches with lemon juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg. Toss gently and then spoon into prepared baking dish. 
  4. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the peaches. Do not press it down, as it will settle naturally while it bakes. This is important to achieve a crispy crumble. 
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the peaches are bubbling. Remove from oven & place on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, room temperature or cold. Store covered leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Notes: 

  • The best peaches to use for baking are the yellow ones, as they have a more intense peach flavor than other varieties. 
  • Use real butter for this recipe, not margarine. Butter gives the best flavor and texture.
  • Making the crumble first, then placing it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it ensures the butter stays cold. This ensures the crumble will retain it's pebbly, rustic texture and be crispy and firm, yet tender. 
  • Unless you really don't like the skin, there's no need to remove the skins of the peaches. 
  • I like the peaches to do the talking with this recipe, and we found 3 tablespoons of brown sugar to be enough in the topping. If you like things on the sweeter side, however, feel free to increase the sugar content up to 1/2 cup in the crumble topping. 
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